Are mid-winter (yule-like) celebrations common in most cultures?

How many cultures - besides European - have mid-winter celebrations (like Yule?)

For instance, do you see it in Japan, or China?

Bear in mind that in the Southern Hemisphere, “Yule” (ie, Christmas) takes place in the middle of summer, so not all European cultures celebrate “Yule” as a mid-winter celebration.

Most cultures that experience seasons have Winter solstice celebrations. Including traditional Japanese and Chinese cultures. Wikipedia has a decent list. And it doesn’t even list Chanukah!

It’s interesting to note while the winter solstice celebration is a big deal in traditional Chinese culture, this tradition is largely lost in the Chinese diaspora in SE Asia, because it would be kind of silly to celebrate winter solstice when you live in the tropics. That is where my family originally came from, and it was a little weird when I grew up because almost all of my friends were from traditional, mainstream Chinese families, and they all had these big family gatherings for the solstice, while I didn’t really have anything going on at home.

Actually in Australia we still have Yule in winter, there are various winter solstice or mid winter festivals here in June. “Yule” means mid winter festival, it doesn’t mean christmas. So we have Christmas in December, but Yule in June in the southern hemisphere.

I live in Australia and I’m not aware of any mainstream “Winter Solstice” festivals beyond the odd “Christmas In July” thing some offices and social clubs organise. I’ve never met anyone (and I’ve met a LOT of people in my career) who celebrates “Yule”, besides a handful of Pagans and New-Agers.

That’s not to say no-one does and that there aren’t any, but I’d disagree with that it’s a common thing here.